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Rock Songs about God and Jesus

Updated on April 27, 2012

rockin' for God

I don’t know why, but the other day I was thinking about pop songs and rock songs that mention God or Jesus. Several of the ones I recalled were from my teenage years, when around here, it was “cool” to be a Christian. Maybe you remember the so-called “Jesus freaks.” The crowd with long hair, old jeans, beards, and sandals who hung out in the park and handed out religious tracts. They were kind of like “hippies for God,” I guess. They often played guitars and tambourines, setting old hymns to the tunes of modern songs of the time. I remember how they used to sing “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “House of the Rising Sun.” It was actually pretty, and it “fit” perfectly.

Anyway, I’m not admonishing these folks. In fact, I’m a Christian myself, and I used to hang out with some of this group. Where did they go? I guess most of them grew up, cleaned up, dressed up and are working behind a desk somewhere now. I miss those days, and I miss the music. Just listening to some of it now brings back so many fond memories…

I don’t think many modern rock and pop songs include God and Jesus in their lyrics, other than Christian rock. I could be wrong, however; I really don’t listen to a lot of modern rock, rap, or hip-hop. Of course, there’s plenty of country music about religious faith, but that’s another topic, entirely.

Whether or not you’re a believer, why not take a stroll with me down memory lane with these great songs?

 

Enjoy these rock songs about Jesus and God!
Enjoy these rock songs about Jesus and God!

Jesus is Just Alright

 This is a Doobie Brothers classic from 1973. I was 15 at the time, and everybody loved this song! Actually, the members of the band look a lot like some of the guys I hung out with.

Jesus is Just Alright

Spirit in the Sky

Norman Greenbaum performs this tune. The heavy bass licks are classic rock.

Spirit in the Sky

Put Your Hand in the Hand

This 1971 song was performed by Ocean. It urges listeners to trust in Jesus.

Put Your Hand in the Hand

Signs

 Remember this one by Five Man Electrical Band? I like the last verse, when the guy goes into a church to pray. When they pass the collection plate, he doesn't have any money to add. Instead, he makes his own sign - a thank-you note to God - and drops it in the plate.

Signs

Day by Day

 I love this song. It's from the Broadway musical, Godspell, which is based on the Gospel of Matthew. I had a couple of college pals who used to perform this at a local coffee house. Hear the tambourine?

Day by Day

American Pie

One of the most popular songs ever, Don McLean makes several Biblical allusions, including God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

American Pie

Morning Has Broken

Cat Stevens turned this Christian hymn into a hit in 1971. In 1977, Cat converted to Islam and is now known as Yusuf Islam.

Morning Has Broken

Jesus Just Left Chicago

A smokin' ZZ Top tune. Look at the last verse:

"You might not see Him in person,

but He'll see you just the same.

You might not see Him in person,

but He'll see you just the same.

Yeah, yeah,

You don't have to worry

'Cause takin' care of business is His name."

Jesus Just Left Chicago

Jesus Christ Superstar

This is from the 1971 Broadway production by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice. It's based on the struggles between Jesus and Judas Iscariot. The following song is sung by Judas and is addressed to Jesus, which explains the lyrics.

Jesus Christ Superstar

I Don't Know How to Love Him

This song is also from Jesus Christ Superstar and is sung by Mary Magdalene to Jesus, as He sleeps. It's a beautiful, moving song.

I Don't Know How to Love Him

Every Grain of Sand

 Bob Dylan wrote this song in 1978, after, according to him, he experienced a visit from Jesus. The lyrics are amazing! This version is performed by Emmylou Harris.

My God

 This Jethro Tull tune has some profound lyrics. They say that the Church has attempted to put God in a cage, and that organized religion tries to twist God to its purposes. The excesses of the Church and of priests are also attacked. Some great flute interludes by Ian Anderson here.

Steven Tyler's Amazing Grace

 Rock legend Steven Tyler belts out "Amazing Grace" here. Tyler is Catholic.

Amazing Grace

"Oh, Happy Day"

This song was a hit by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. The lyrics refer to the day Jesus washes sins away.

Oh, Happy Day

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    • profile image

      DavidArm 2 years ago

      One song that should be on the list is All you Zombies by The Hooters.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LE0KpcP05I

    • profile image

      bruce 2 years ago

      I have more rock genre christian songs if any body cares: @ yanxfan8@aol.com : Bruce

    • profile image

      Terry 2 years ago

      A Hundred Pounds of Clay by Gene McDaniels

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 2 years ago from State of Confussion

      It may seam scary but I knew and could sing along with most of the songs in your list. In fact I just listened to all the music from Godspell last week.

    • profile image

      gsurvivor 4 years ago

      Stoked to see Jethro Tull here, Ian Anderson is a genius. A definite vote up! :)

    • profile image

      KennyR 4 years ago

      Oh, and Stairway to Heaven (Zepplin); Jesus Won't You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz (Joplin); Lord Help Me Jesus (Kris Kristofferson)

    • profile image

      KennyR 4 years ago

      An oddball favorite of mine is Chocolate Jesus by Tom Waits.

    • sradie profile image

      sradie 5 years ago from Palm Coast FL

      I loved all the songs you posted and all were written before I became a Christian myself. God can use whom He chooses to spread His Word. That is one reason His eternal Word lives on even today. He cannot be hidden from man in any generation. Great hub, thanks.

    • profile image

      rrosierjr 5 years ago

      My Sweet Lord - George Harrison

    • Raitu Disong profile image

      Raitu Disong 5 years ago

      Habee, you got awesome music here...

      You have included some of my fav artists...

      Rock on for God!

    • beatleblogger profile image

      beatleblogger 5 years ago from Sunderland, United Kingdom

      And God by Marc Bolan's T REX;

    • beatleblogger profile image

      beatleblogger 5 years ago from Sunderland, United Kingdom

      what about Jesus by Velvet Underground

    • catfish33 profile image

      Jeffrey Yelton 5 years ago from Maryland

      Very nice hub!

    • profile image

      Peggy 5 years ago

      Hi! Thank you for compiling this list. I was just sitting thinking about how many songs mention God or Lord, and this popped right up, much to my delight. (not by just thinking, I Googled too, LOL) Those songs have wonderful memories for me.

      Look up the lyrics to Led Zeppelin's "In My Time of Dying" some time. It's about someone realizing they haven't lived the most holy of lives and pleading to still be admitted to Heaven.

      And a warning about temptation......

      "He who made kittens put snakes in the grass" Bungle in the Jungle, Jethro Tull

      Have a great day!

      Peggy

    • KF Raizor profile image

      KF Raizor 5 years ago

      One of my favorites is "I'm Scared" by Burton Cummings. It was the follow-up to "Stand Tall," but didn't fare as well on the charts. He wrote it while doing some soul searching. The chorus says, "Never been much on religion but I sure enough just fell down on my knees."

      Thanks for a very interesting hub!

    • profile image

      Bob Beyer 5 years ago

      Speak to the Sky - Rick Springfield

      By the Rivers of Babylon - Boney M

      But my favorite popular song that I prefer to sing to God is "Have I Told You Lately that I Love You." Try it!

    • MaestroECMcCloud profile image

      MaestroECMcCloud 5 years ago from Lexington, South Carolina

      Wonderful post. I especially liked the Doobie Brothers performance on here. I forgot what a great song that one was. People always talk about the great double guitar line ups like Duane Allman And Dickey Betts( The Allman Brothers), Scott Gorham and Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy) and others, but Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston show on this clip that they were a formidable guitar tandem as well.

      I also loved seeing Steven Tyler singing "Amazing Grace."

    • profile image

      EDYrose 5 years ago

      a lot of songs mentioned but most were not wrote about JESUS ...dont die like Goeorge Harrison without CHRIST..his my sweet lord was buda

    • profile image

      EDYrose 5 years ago

      morning has broken is a beautiful song out of the seventhday adventist hymns..let your memory lane be today....and accept the saviour,follow him while you still have a chance...JESUS has the key to your hearts door let him open it......1st JOHN 1-9 if you confess your sin he is able and just to forgive you your sin,and to cleanse you from ALL unrightousness......the ten commandments cant save you but can show you what sin is...we all have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD...

    • DIYweddingplanner profile image

      DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      WOw, just discovered this, Habee. That was a stroll down memory lane and you're right, there aren't enough (if any) songs that reference the artists' personal faith these days. Maybe it's because it's become "uncool" to be Christian in some circles. I do like the band Mercy Me who are kind of a crossover. Anyway, don't think music will ever be what it was when we were growing up, religious references or not. And it's a shame.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, JT!

    • profile image

      JT 6 years ago

      Swearin'To God--Frankie Valli

      God Only Knows--Beach Boys

      My Sweet Lord-- George Harrison

      Just to throw a few extras out there

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you enjoyed it, HH!

      Brown, thanks for visiting!

    • brownbaby profile image

      brownbaby 6 years ago

      Habee, Great collection. really loved it!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      A great trip down memory lane. Well done.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      AA, I'll have to check that song out!

      Ingenira, what a great idea!

      Deb, somehow I can just picture you with a tambourine! lol

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      Habee, Interesting trip done memory lane! Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar & Doobie Brothers I remember... To this day I still love to play the tambourine...

      Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Peace & Blessings!

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      I love the selection you have here. How nice it'd be if I can get a CD of this collection ! :)

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      The song I remembered was "Rose colored stain glass windows" by Petra. It's a christian song about how religion keeps people from getting close to God. Thanks for sharing.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Jane! Day by Day is one of my faves!

    • Jane@CM profile image

      Jane@CM 6 years ago

      Habee, these are some of the best songs! I love Jesus Christ Superstar, Cat Stevens and Day by Day!! ~j~

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Free.edu, thanks a bunch for visiting!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Daisy, why do you think I need help??

      Hi, Pam! I thought we were about the same age.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Katie, it really was fun!

      Good points, Sherri - and thanks for the vote!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      bluebell, glad you stopped by!

      jkim, I didn't know that about Kansas. Thanks!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks a bunch, Lumi!

      Prime, gotta love ZZ Top!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Lol, Jake. Thanks for reading!

    • free.edu.editor profile image

      free.edu.editor 6 years ago

      Thanks for compiling these. Who knew Jesus was such a rockstar! Keep up the great work.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      Habee, This was a great walk down memory land as I remember all of those songs. It was a great time in my life also. Thanks.

    • daisygreen profile image

      daisygreen 6 years ago from China

      Really nice article!!! Get help !!!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Wow, there was Christian rock all around us in those years, it just didn't have a label. Now that there is such a named genre, such a label, Christian rock has become insular. It's forced, in the sense that its purpose is to bring people to worship. In that single-minded purpose, it misses the pulse of life, a pulse that Greenbaum and the others did not miss. Christian rock today will never make the top ten.

      I'll bet you are already thinking of this...classic folk songs.

      Up and awesome is not a good enough rating, but I did it anyway.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      Girl, What an awesome collection of songs with God and or Jesus in them. Awesome indeed. I enjoy these greats and will def be back to listen.

      Well done and great research. I bet you had fun doing it!!! :) Katie

    • miss_jkim profile image

      miss_jkim 6 years ago

      Wow, what a trip down memory lane.

      I was one of those, Jesus Freaks, back in High School. I remember these songs and many more.

      How about Dust in the Wind, by Kansas? It was written by the lead singer after his Christian Conversion.

      Oh and Ian Anderson, his father was a Baptist preacher. You know what they say about preacher's kids?

      Great Hub!

    • Bluebell Canyon profile image

      Bluebell Canyon 6 years ago

      Great hub! Thanks for sharing.

    • Alternative Prime profile image

      Alternative Prime 6 years ago from > California

      Great list of "Spiritual" Songs,

      I gotta go with "ZZ Top" on this one. A little "Tongue n' Cheek" tune but ever so entertaining.

      How can you not love a band full of "Beards" playing Guitars and the only guy who doesn't sport a "Beard" is the Drummer named "Frank Beard"...

    • profile image

      Jake Pena 6 years ago

      Time does go by and sometime we just don't remember the songs that were around. It is amazing how God word just pops everywhere.